Check or Carry-On?

With many airlines now charging to check bags, in reaction to recent high fuel costs, many travelers are packing lighter, and with fewer bags so that they can carry-on more, and check less.  Following you’ll find some tips and information that may help you decide whether to check or carry-on before you travel.

Chances are, if you’re traveling for a longer period of time you’ll need to check bags anyway.  Carry-on bags are usually limited to two per person, so if you’re traveling with a lot of clothes, shoes and other items, you might have difficulty fitting all of your belongings into so few pieces of luggage.  But for those traveling four to seven days, or less, here are some ways you can minimize the number of bags you have to check.

Roll your clothes.  This actually does two things for you, allows you to fit more and prevents wrinkling (excluding some fabrics, such as linen, which will wrinkle anyway).  This is especially useful during summer vacation trips, as summer clothes are less bulky than winter clothes.  A rolled tee-shirt takes up very little space.

Combine bags.  Instead of taking one carry-on and a purse, or briefcase, try to put your purse or briefcase into a carry-on bag.  Chances are you will be able to fit a few more things into that bag.  Just make sure you pack neatly so that you don’t experience long waits in security.  Messily packed bags are often searched as the x-ray machine images are not clear.

Plan ahead.  Do you really need that third pair of shoes?  Remember, you’ll be wearing a pair while you travel, and maybe you’ll need one more pair, tops.  Need a hair dryer?  Most hotels offer hair dryers and irons, so leave those items home.  Sure, the hotel hair dryer may not be as advanced as yours, but weigh that against the cost of checking a bag.  Is bringing your hairdryer with you for three days worth $25 or even $50 extra?

Before you pack, make certain you check the regulations of carry-on bag size.  Airlines can change their regulations, and might if everyone starts bringing the maximum allowable sized-bags to carry-on.  Just like booking hotels and parking on ParkSleepFly, a little advanced planning can go a long way.

The Convenience of Travel

So many times, travelers associate the idea of travel with hassle and inconveniences that they’d rather do without.  Traffic to get to the airport, difficulty parking, getting through luggage check and security, waiting for a flight that might be delayed…Following you’ll find a few tips that will make your trip more convenient and pleasant.

Pack according to security guidelines.  Your best chance of getting through security quickly is to follow the guidelines set in place for your protection, even though it may sometimes feel as though your personal property is being invaded.  Pack all liquids in clear bottles, in clear cases, and arrange your luggage contents logically.  The X-Ray machines are only as quick as those interpreting the screen, in other words, if you throw all of your belongings in hodge podge, you’re more likely to be asked to wait while your luggage is searched by hand.  Wear comfortable shoes that you can easily slip in and out of.  This choice serves a dual purpose: you’ll get through security with more ease and speed, and you’ll be more comfortable on your flight, without tight shoes on.

Bring a book or magazine, or your video iPod to the airport.  Chances are that even if your plane is on time, you’ll have some waiting to do.  Instead of sitting there, bored, plan ahead and bring something to occupy your time.  Bring something interesting…if it’s not interesting to you, it won’t satisfactorily pass the time.  Books are excellent for the flight as well; as of yet, there’s not a restriction in place on having a paperback comedy in your carry-on.

Travel to the airport can be the most stressful of all travel stressors, but with some more planning ahead (a common theme in travel convenience), you can book your parking, and even a hotel room on, granting you reserved access to convenience; you can entirely avoid rush hour type traffic on your way to or from the airport.  You can arrive at your terminal refreshed and calm, even if you are flying to an important business meeting that will decide the next ten years of your career.

Give yourself a bit of relaxation, and travel can go from stress to bliss.